Innovation and Diversity

in Marine Design

Who We Are

Robert Allan Ltd. is an independent, privately-owned firm of Consulting Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, established since 1928 in Vancouver, Canada.


Our business is centred on the design of commercial working vessels of all types, with a particular focus on the international tugboat market. In addition we design fireboats, research vessels, crewboats, barges, government service vessels (such as icebreakers and nav-aids tenders), shallow-draft vessels of all types for inland transportation, and a diverse range of specialized craft for almost any purpose as well as other floating things.

The company also provides expertise in analyzing technical and financial aspects of a broad range of marine operations and marine systems design.

Our Objectives

Robert Allan Ltd. is committed to providing the highest possible standards of professional marine design and engineering services to our valued clients, thereby creating innovative working vessels that embody efficiency, durability and performance. We are committed to making the vessels built to our designs as safe and efficient as possible for the crews that work on them, and for the people who own them.

Corporate Policy

Robert Allan Ltd. is a completely independent consulting company, providing professional ship design and related engineering services to its clients, based on impartial and unbiased experience and analysis. We have no direct financial interest in the business affairs of, nor do we accept commissions or favours from any equipment suppliers or shipyards. Our dealings with any companies in these sectors are performed strictly on a client-consultant basis.

Memberships + Affiliations

Many of our staff are active, registered members of various professional organizations. Most are involved in the international ship design and ship construction industry.












Robert Allan Ltd. is also actively involved in several associations on a corporate level. These include:




Robert Allan Ltd. has also actively participated in major international projects associated with the promotion and development of a better understanding of the behaviour and performance of tugboats and other types of commercial working craft. This includes active participation and leading roles in:

  • The SAFETUG JIP, managed by Marin, Netherlands (2005-2011)
  • Ongoing collaboration with Classification Societies on the development of harmonized rules for the Classification of Tugboats. (current)
  • NFPA 1925, the committee for development of International Standards for the design and construction of Fireboats
  • ABS Small Vessels Rules Committee.
  • The BP-JIP, managed by MARIN, (2016-17), establishing standardized procedures for accurate measurement of Bollard Pull

To learn more about Robert Allan Ltd., see Our Commitments, Management Team and other pages in The Company. To browse our many vessel designs, see our Design Portfolio.